Sleep Apnea Treatment
Once you are diagnosed with sleep apnea we will begin your treatment program. Although there are a variety of options for sleep apnea, most doctors recommend positive airway pressure therapy (PAP therapy). PAP therapy is safe, effective, and non-invasive. It requires no drugs or surgery.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
How does CPAP therapy work? Air is pushed from the flow generator through the tubing and mask. The air then passes through the nose and into the throat where the slight pressure keeps the upper airway open.
The gold standard in treatment of sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
With CPAP treatment, room air is pressurized by a small device and delivered to the airways through a mask that fits over your nose or nose and mouth. The pressurized air keeps the upper airway open and prevents sleep apnea from occurring. Because CPAP does not involve surgery or drugs, no hospital stay or recovery time is required.
With advanced technology, CPAP devices and masks include many features that enhance comfort and ease of transition into therapy. The machines are less cumbersome, small, quiet, and esthetically pleasing, which benefit both patient and their bed partner. CPAP masks are available in many styles and sizes to fit your personal needs and lifestyles.
CPAP provides a pneumonic splint to keep the sleep apnea patient’s airway open to treat their sleep apnea. Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP improves sleep-related breathing. Adequately treated sleep apnea also has been associated with improving other comorbidities that are involved with sleep breathing disorder.
CPAP therapy comes in various forms. You can have a standard CPAP machine that provides constant pressure throughout the night, you can have an automatic CPAP device that gives you automatic pressure changes through the night to adjust to the airway and the comfort of the patient, or you can have bi-level positive airway pressure.
Bi-level therapy works by delivering two different levels of positive air pressure:
- A higher level of pressure when you breathe in
- A lower pressure when you breathe out
These pressures deliver two levels of air pressure that are set to coincide with the patient's inspiratory and expiratory efforts. Bi-level therapy can be used to treat conditions other than sleep apnea and is the first line of treatment for a wide range of respiratory disorders.
Beginning CPAP Treatment
Proper treatment pressures, a comfort system, and good education often mean the difference between success and failure for CPAP users. That is our focus, our goal, and our means to get better patient outcomes so that they can become compliant to CPAP therapy. Treatment success means sleeping better and getting more enjoyment out of waking up in the morning and having an effective and productive day during waking hours. It can also mean lowering blood pressure, reducing the chance of a stroke or heart attack, and most of all resolving your sleep breathing disorder.
Successful CPAP users report improvements in:
Aveo Tongue Stabilizing Device
The Aveo tongue stabilizing device is a quick simple snoring solution. Snoring occurs because air travels faster through the narrow tubes than a broad one. This causes the relaxed soft tissue of the throat (e.g. tonsils) to vibrate. The vibration is the sound as we know as snoring.
Constriction and narrowing of the airway can happen for many reasons:
- Large tonsils
- A large soft palate and uvula
- Excessive flabby tissue
- Nasal congestion from allergies or infections
- Cartilage deformities in the nose or nasal structure
Another form of treatment is snore appliances. The next common form of treatment is dental appliances. Dental appliances are custom fitted oral devices that go into the mouth and retract the jaw forward. Hence, by retracting the jaw forward and advancing it brings the tongue forward and creates a patent airway. We can assist you with dental appliances if indicated and prescribed by your physician.
The most common cause of snoring is the tongue muscle relaxing. The tongue muscles relax too much during sleep, blocking the airway completely or partially and therefore can cause apnea and snoring. By keeping the airway open, air travels more slowly, which reduces vibration of the throat and thus eliminates or reduces snoring. The Aveo TSD is effective in keeping the airway open during sleep by positioning the tongue forward. By doing this, the air passage is kept patent and therefore snoring is eliminated. The Aveo TSD is made from a soft medical silicone for comfort and works by holding the tongue forward by a gentle suction preventing it from falling back against the back of the throat, thus keeping the airway open during sleep.
The Aveo TSD does not attach to teeth and does not normally require a custom fitting. Our registered respiratory therapists are happy to fit you with a device and educate you so that for the appropriate patient it can be an effective manner to treat your snoring.
There are numerous surgical procedures to solve snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. If you are a candidate for surgery, your family physician will make the appropriate consult with an ENT specialist in order to assess you. Surgery is not always effective and is invasive, painful, and may require recovery time. Surgery can be successful for the right candidate, however, we recommend that your physician make a sleep consult to a specialist in order for them to determine whether you would be a candidate for surgery.